Money for Meals on Wheels

A program that feeds thousands of Houston seniors is getting a major shot in the arm, with more than a million dollars in grants from Harris County and the Texas Department of Agriculture. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Houston Interfaith Ministries' Meals on Wheels program is getting $79,000 from Harris County, and about $1.4 million from the Texas Department of Agriculture's Texans Feeding Texans program. Interfaith Ministries President Elliott Gershenson says that's nearlyξ$1.5ξmillion and it will pay for feeding a lot more people.

"We currently serve about 3,350 clients a day. So what this extra money is going to do, we have a waiting list of about 700. We're going to be able to reduce that waiting list by somewhere around 600."

Gershenson says Meals on Wheels helps homebound seniors who're not able to do what's necessary to feed themselves.

"Our clients are folks who are over 60, and who meet a standard of immobility, meaning that they do not have the ability to manipulate food, they don't have the ability to go to the store to buy food. It's people who really are, we're helping them stay independent in their homes."

Gershenson says while income isn't a consideration, most of Meals on Wheels' clients are on low fixed income.ξ He says this grant will provide a two year funding stream, but only one year is guaranteed, so their goal is to get new funds when the need arises so they can maintain this new and higher level of service to Houston seniors. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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